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Idler Pulley Failure

The majority of the Subarus towed into his shop with timing belt failure can often be traced to an idler pulley failure that resulted in the belt coming off, says Bob Dowie, who advises to replace the pulleys if you have any doubt about their condition, notice grease coming out of them, or if there is roughness or noise when they are spun.

Brake Service Case Study: Nissan Frontier

Bob Dowie looks at some of the undercar issues he has faced with Nissan vehicles over the years and discusses how to deal with some common issues you may see with them.

Acura Driveability Issues

Import Specialist Bob Dowie looks at a 2006 Acura MDX that belongs to one of his shop’s long-time customers. This well-maintained, high-mileage vehicle has treated its owner well over the years, but it was getting older and with 150,000 miles on the odometer, it was causing some concern.

honda acura driveability featured
Kia Preventive Maintenance

Import Specialist Bob Dowie takes a look at the Kia line of vehicles, focusing on common problems and maintenance items that will have them finding their way to your bays. Kia continues to offer a reliable, affordable vehicle lineup that provides import specialist techs with plenty of opportunities for maintenance and repair.

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Preventing Brake Noise Complaints

Most brake complaints will be squeak-related, with the common metal-on-metal grinding taking a close second. Both of these noises relate to the pad. The grinding noise is almost always the result of worn pads and the backing plate contacting the rotor, and we all know how to deal with that. To a lesser extent, you’ll also get some knocking complaints.

Nissan Diagnostics: Check Engine Light And Misfire Issues

The late-model Nissans have proven to be quite reliable when it comes to serial-type problems that would get them to your bay with check engine lamp issues. Nissan has done a good job of addressing some of the problems we’ve looked at in the past. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing Nissans looking for attention, and that spells service opportunities for you.

Hyundai Feature: Drivetrain Noises And Wheel Bearing Replacement

Don’t let customers lead you down the wrong diagnostic path. While wheel-bearing noise is one of the toughest problems for customers to describe, says Import Specialist Contributor Bob Dowie, it’s not unusual for it to come on so gradually that the customer may not even notice it until you mention it after an unrelated road test.

Mazda Feature: Driveability And Check Engine Light Diagnostics

Import Specialist Bob Dowie takes a look at some of the more common ailments that will bring your Mazda customers into your service bay with a check engine light complaint, as he covers common DTCs, stalling and ignition issues and new technology.

Timing Belt Replacement On Honda/Acura V6 Engines

The first step in timing belt replacement is selling the job. For many years, the industry standard for belt replacement was 60,000 miles. Those of us with more experience can even remember when 30,000 miles was the norm. Over the years, the materials and processes used in timing belt manufacturing have allowed Honda to move that interval to 90,000 miles and 105,000 miles. I use the 90,000-mile mark as my signal. As a customer’s vehicle nears this indicator, remind him or her that the belt needs to be replaced.

Uncovering Potential Repair Issues On Mazda3

In this article, we’ll take a look at routine services on a Mazda3 and some of the more common problems that may be uncovered as they are performed. Our shop has always subscribed to 30,000-, 60,000- and 90,000-mile major service intervals with oil changes and inspections at a maximum of 5,000 miles. That may not exactly match the factory recommendations, but it works well for our customers and us, and covers all of the recommended services.